How to use Instagram for business

With over 600 million users globally, Instagram is the fastest growing social media network and one with the highest interaction rate per follower. Over 300 million people use it daily,  making the platform an ideal place for brands to interact with their potential and existing customers. Instagram’s visual nature and mobile functionality is great for digital storytelling, allowing you to share in-the-moment experiences and tell your brand’s story.

1. Create a visually consistent profile

According to WebDam 60 percent of the top brands on Instagram use the same filter for every post. By having the same filter your style will become recognisable to your followers. You can use additional filters or editing options via photo editing apps like VSCOcam or Enhance and import your edited photos into Instagram. Create a visually consistent profile that aligns with all your other visuals such as your website and any other marketing collateral related to your business.

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2. Use hashtags

Posts with at least one Instagram hashtag average 12.6% more engagement than posts without a hashtag. Hashtags work in a same way as search terms when you are looking for information via the search engine. They help your content to be found by new followers and create brand consistency. Using relevant hashtags means that users will be able to find your post and profile without following you and it’s an effective way organically grow the number of followers.

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3. Add location

If your business is located at a specific address, add the location in your posts. Similar to your hashtags, it will help new followers to find you and it’s very helpful for places such as shops, cafes, pubs and restaurants as it makes your posts visible in local searches and helps your potential visitors to find you.

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4. Repost other users content

If your followers or customers are posting photos relevant to you, repost their photos. Showing engagement and interacting online will give your Instagram brand extra exposure, especially if combined with hashtags and location. Tag the person who originally posted the photo (using the @ sign) and add a hashtag that indicated this is a repost –  #regram or #repost are good ones to use.

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5. Use Instagram stories

Instagram now let’s you publish a short video that shows up on the top of your follower’s feed. Stories are used by 250 million users daily, both individuals and businesses and their disappearing nature means they are perfect for live broadcasting and attention-grabbing visuals.

6. Add link to your latest content in bio

Many users add the link to their promoted content as part of their post descriptions – but Instagram doesn’t allow hyperlinks as part of your post so unless your followers manually copy and paste the link, they can’t click on it. A good way around this is to update your bio with the latest link and mention it in your post description – something like: ‘link in bio’.

7. Time your posts

You will find that specific times work best for engagement.  It’s important that you keep your posts regular, even if not too frequent. Different times work for different brands and industries, so keep an eye on how your posts are performing and do more of what works well. Sprout Social have a great guide for timing your posts and their general guidelines say that Monday through Friday are the strongest days to post. Monday tends to drive the most engagement out of the week and the most recommended posting times include 2 am, and 5pm.

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